Red Firegoby, Nemateleotris magnifica Fowler 1938

Other Names: Fire Dartfish, Fire Goby, Red Fire Goby, Red Fire-goby

A Red Firegoby, Nemateleotris magnifica, at South Solitary Island, New South Wales, 29 April 2016. Source: Ian V. Shaw / ALA. License: CC by Attribution

 pelvic fins white; anterior body pale pink to white, dusky red posteriorly.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Nemateleotris magnifica in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 May 2024,

Red Firegoby, Nemateleotris magnifica Fowler 1938

More Info


Offshore reefs of north Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea, to at least Coffs Harbour, New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indo-west-central Pacific. 
Individuals or pairs inhabit burrows on the the upper parts of outer reef slopes, rarely seen at depths below 28 m, preferring shallower reefs.


Dorsal fin VI, I,28–32; Anal fin I,27–30; Pectoral fin 19–20; Pelvic fin I,5; Caudal fin segmented rays 17, upper procurrent caudal-fin rays 10–12, lower procurrent caudal-fin rays 10–12, total caudal-fin rays 37–41; Gill rakers 5–6 + 17–19 = 22–25.
Elevated portion of first dorsal fin very elongate and filamentous (up to 1.4 in SL); caudal fin round.


Hovers above the substrate to feed on zooplankton in the current.


Forms monogamous pairs.


A popular aquarium fish.

Species Citation

Nemateleotris magnificus Fowler 1938, Proceedings of the United States National Museum 85(3032): 132. Type locality: Buka Buka Island, Gulf of Tomini, Sulawesi, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Red Firegoby, Nemateleotris magnifica Fowler 1938


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21  

Fowler, H.W. 1938. Descriptions of new fishes obtained by the United States Bureau of Fisheries Steamer Albatross, chiefly in Philippine seas and adjacent waters. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 85(3032): 31-135 figs 6-61 

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202 

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S .J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219 

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

Larson, H.K. & Murdy, E.O. 2001. Microdesmidae. pp. 3607-3608 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds) The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Larson, H.K. 2010. Nemateleotris magnifica (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T155229A115288769. Accessed on 21 March 2023.

Moore, G. & Morrison, S. 2009. Fishes of three North West Shelf atolls off Western Australia: Mermaid (Rowley Shoals), Scott and Seringapatam Reefs. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 77: 221-255 

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Thompson, A.A. 2003. Marine surveys undertaken in the Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve, March-April 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Science 59 pp. 

Oxley, W.G., Emslie, M., Muir, P. & Thompson, A.A. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Lihou Reef National Nature Reserve, March 2004. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Science i-vii, 1-67 pp. 

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E. & Allen, G.R. 1973. A revision of the gobiid fish genus Nemateleotris, with descriptions of two new species. Quarterly Journal of the Taiwan Museum 26(3, 4): 347-367 figs 1-7 

Russell, B.C., Larson, H.K., Hutchins, J.B. & Allen, G.R. 2005. Reef fishes of the Sahul Shelf. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Supplement 1 2005: 83-105

Tea, Y-K. & Larson, H.K. 2023. Synopsis of the ptereleotrine goby genus Nemateleotris, with description of a new species from the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Teleostei: Gobiidae). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 71: 248-266.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37435008

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:6-70 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:9 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map